What I think they are thinking in the headquarters of the four AFC South teams Monday…
Seriously? We deserved at least overtime, didn’t we? Even if we chalk up Jacksonville’s Hail Mary to luck -- and there is a big degree of it in any of those situations that work -- we simply cannot give the Jaguars the ball in that situation. Had Joel Dreessen not fumbled on the second-to-last play of the game, we might be sorting out a clock mess and a failure to get off a field-goal attempt. But at least we’d have had our shot in overtime. Three losses in a row. A 4-5 record. At least two teams to climb to get into wild-card contention. A very tough upcoming schedule. We might be toast.
We’re stuck together with rubber bands and duct tape, it feels like. And we managed an early surge and five takeaways in a win against Cincinnati. That was enough for us to get a win against a bad team and look ahead to a huge road trip. We’re 6-3 with all our injuries and have a chance to go to New England and pull even with the Patriots. Nobody’s going to like our chances, so we can take an us-against-the-world approach. If we can get a couple guys back from injury and have our top linebackers and running backs available, we’ll happily take our chances with the scenario.
Hey, we got a big break. But Mike Thomas knew where he was and what he was doing, too, and we’re going to revel in a big moment. Houston was the darling pick to make a charge to the playoffs while everyone was still joking about blackouts in North Florida and talking about how we passed on Tim Tebow. Well guess what? We just beat those Texans and we’re even with the Titans at 5-4 (thought we lost head-to-head), only a game behind the Colts. We’ll scrap. We’re getting good play from David Garrard. Maurice Jones-Drew looked refreshed. Terrance Knighton showed some leadership in our first game without Aaron Kampman. Don’t sleep on us.
We should have done more to temper the expectations on Randy Moss. Yes, we missed him two or three times when there was big-play potential. But this is a receiver, not a quarterback or running back. He’s not starting out with the ball in his hands. Our quarterbacks were lousy, and we’ll face questions about Vince Young’s toughness considering he didn’t insist on starting, but ran around just fine when he was inserted to replace the injured Kerry Collins. We lost to a third-string quarterback, we gave up back-to-back big gains on the same Wildcat play, we are 2-4 in the AFC. We’ve got a lot of work to do.